Marriage As A Strategic Life-Planning Decision

Essentially, a spouse is like a roommate who feels obliged to help you through hard times, so if you are looking to make your way in this cold, penny-pinching world without returning to your childhood home, go ahead and get hitched.

In Defense of CT (Again) & Rejecting Traditional Geographic Measures of Success

There are a lot of reasons why we find ourselves living in places. Often, it’s because we have a job or family obligations, or we just can’t afford to leave, or we don’t know where we’d go if we did leave. None of that means that the place we live is good or bad. It simply means we’re there, and for lack of other options, we have to keep living.

8 Ways I Might Spend a Modest Windfall, In Order of Fiscal Prudence

This windfall, along with the fact that my fixed expenses are relatively low, will allow me to make this boring dream into a boring reality.

Socialism: The Sharing Economy I Want

I want just a little bit of everyday socialism.

The Poverty-Stricken Half-Jewish Brooklyn Christmases Of Our Youth

I didn’t really understand the import of the food pantries and the free gift grab bags at the church, but I could sense the desperation of my mom’s situation.

On Appreciating the Little Things, Especially Around the Holidays

For those of us who live paycheck-to-paycheck, for whom the accumulation of savings is always one perfect-month-without-crises away, it is important to take pleasure in the little things. For me, one of those little things is the stretch of the month between the 15th and the 25th, when all my big bills are paid — student loan, 2011 independent contractor taxes on the installment plan — but the next round of them — rent, phone, after-school for two kids — is still the better part of a week away.

Often, a paycheck, or, more precisely, a pay advice from a direct deposit, arrives during this period, giving me the false sense that I am getting ahead and accumulating the absurd amount of emergency cash that financial planners smugly say I should have. By now I have learned not to rely on my foolish notions, so I resist big purchases (well, maybe a few extra drinks). Instead, I just luxuriate for a few days in a false sense of financial security. This month, it’s false financial security and a glass of egg nog with rum in it. Happy holidays.

In Defense of Small Cheap Cities

Living in Hartford, I still see art and music, and I get to live in a city, and my rent is about one third of what I would pay for an equivalent apartment in Brooklyn.

Communal Living & Class Antagonism in a Poor City

In Hartford, when poor people claw their way into the middle class, the first thing they do is leave.

Real Life Firing Histories

By rights, I should have been fired for how I dealt with some of these customers, but the owners seemed to feel that having surly diners get a periodic dressing-down from an even surlier waiter who could turn on the Brooklyn when he was pissed was a good thing.